We do not entirely comprehend vascular disease, but after it happens, we cannot reverse it or stop the process. However, we know that there are risk factors that accelerate the process of atherosclerosis and make some people more prone to develop this condition, such as smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diet, and weight.
Vascular disease can also be an inherited condition. Although you may be unable to escape the family history of heart and vascular disease, you can take many positive actions to improve your blood circulation and reduce the chances of carotid or peripheral artery disease.
Even little lifestyle changes can make a significant difference in improving your overall health. If you have a history of vascular disease in your family, you may want to discuss it with your physician.
Some ways to reduce the chances of vascular disease may include taking action, changing some things in your lifestyle, and monitoring your health.
Exercise keeps blood vessels healthy, so adequate blood and oxygen can reach muscles, tissues, and organs. A combination of aerobic activities, such as running, with resistance training, such as lifting weights, and stretching exercises, is best.
Integrating exercise into your everyday routine is simpler than you realize. Try getting thirty minutes of exercise a day, five days a week. Here are some simple suggestions:
Smoking not only affects the lungs and increases the chances of lung cancer but also damages circulation. In addition, according to several studies, no amount of cigarettes is safe. That includes low-tar and low-nicotine cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and secondhand smoke.
Cigarette smoke contains chemicals that damage blood vessels, making it difficult for oxygen to reach all of the body’s organs and tissues, leading to peripheral artery disease.
Studies link smoking directly to:
The medical advice is to quit smoking, but no one else can do it for you. You have to decide for yourself if you want to do it. However, plenty of help is available to quit smoking through your local pharmacy or hospital.
The positive news is that quitting smoking will significantly improve your blood circulation no matter how long you have been smoking.
Keeping a healthy body weight or body mass index can help you control all your risk factors. For example, reducing weight reduces your chances of diabetes, lowers your blood pressure, and reduces your cholesterol level.
If you ignore the fact that you may have diabetes, you should check your glucose (fasting blood sugar) level to ensure there is no untreated underlying problem.
It may be possible to have a glucose level that is not high enough to be diabetic but not low enough to be expected. This situation is known as glucose intolerance. In this case, it is wise to control the sugar level in your diet and have your blood checked regularly to ensure your blood glucose level does not rise.
If you have diabetes, this increases your chances of having a high blood glucose level regularly, and this accelerates the process of atherosclerosis. Individuals with diabetes also tend to develop atherosclerosis in a different pattern than those who do not have diabetes, which can make treatment more difficult when the disease becomes severe.Therefore, it is imperative for people with diabetes to have reasonable control of their blood sugar levels and to take special care of their bodies.
Studies show that high blood pressure increases the process of atherosclerosis, so you should monitor your blood pressure to ensure you reach a target of one hundred and forty over eighty-five; however, these readings may change depending on your age.
Suppose you know you already have high blood pressure. In that case, you should test your blood pressure periodically to ensure that your tablets keep your blood pressure at the amount specified by your healthcare professional.
Many individuals do not drink sufficient water to keep their bodies adequately hydrated. Doctors recommend an average of eight glasses a day. You may be surprised that dehydration can elevate heart rate and blood pressure. Restrict your consumption of alcohol and caffeine, as they may also dehydrate the body.
Fried foods, fast foods, pre-packed crackers and chips, baked goods, creamy sauces, butter, and many dairy products may taste good, but they are often high in saturated fats and trans fats. These unhealthy fats can increase your chances of developing vascular disease.
Choose vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins such as chicken, fish, or beans. Fruits and vegetables include healthy minerals and vitamins that fight against heart and vascular disease and cancer. Look for sliced fruits and vegetables when you want a snack. Make vegetables the main ingredient in recipes and add fresh fruit to cereals and salads.
Cholesterol is the fat found in the blood, one-tenth of which comes from the food you eat and the rest the liver produces. Cholesterol increases the progression of atherosclerosis. With peripheral arterial disease, your goal cholesterol level must be below average.
The medication doctors instruct to take to lower cholesterol and reduce the chances of heart attack and stroke is a statin. After starting a statin drug, you should monitor your cholesterol to the target level.
Once you lower your cholesterol to the target level, you can check it once a year, but you will need the medication for life because it has other beneficial effects on the arteries.
Physicians prescribe statins as a medication to regulate blood cholesterol levels because they lower cholesterol in the body and increase the removal of cholesterol from the blood.
Our liver produces its cholesterol and LDL (low-density lipoprotein) receptors. LDL transports cholesterol throughout the body and blood. LDL receptors capture LDL particles from the blood and utilize them in the cells.
Statin medication reduces the amount of cholesterol that the liver produces and, at the same time, improves the production of LDL receptors and helps to keep cholesterol levels balanced.
It may be difficult to escape from stress in the fast-paced world we live in today, but chronic stress can affect your circulation and your health. Give yourself a break.
Go for a walk, listen to music, practice meditation, learn relaxation techniques, sign up for a yoga class, play sports, take a hot bath, or even talk to a professional counselor if you are in need.
Many cultures have long used massage to improve blood flow, decrease muscle tension and pain, increase flexibility, and improve mobility. In addition, there are psychological benefits, including an increased sense of calm, a release of stress, and an increase in overall well-being.
A healthy lifestyle can seem challenging to sustain but start small, even if you do not see dramatic results, consistent activity, healthy eating, and relaxation help correct circulation and can prevent many vascular diseases.
In addition to the points stated before, you will also want to keep taking the medications prescribed by your health care provider and keep going to your regular checkups.
Bottom line, you cannot do anything about your age, family history, or genetics, but you can do some things to reduce the chances of vascular disease:
Vascular disease can be a lifelong problem; your health care provider will want you to change how you live, knowing that you have plaque buildup in your blood vessels. These changes are things you will need to continue to do for years to come.
The outlook for many vascular diseases is satisfactory if your health care provider catches the problem early. Many vascular diseases become more difficult to treat as they get worse.
Some vascular conditions can be life-threatening; contact your physician if anything changes with yours and reduce the chances of having a medical emergency.
We are Modern Heart and Vascular Institute, a diagnostic and preventative medicine cardiology practice. For more information, contact us.
After the affected veins have responded to the treatment, they usually do not return or reappear, but new varicose or spider veins may develop.
Your physician will likely schedule a follow-up visit about a month after the treatment to determine how well it worked and if you need more sessions. After that, you should wait about six weeks before having another sclerotherapy treatment.
Before making a decision, you should discuss the benefits and risks of sclerotherapy with your physician and possible coverage with an insurer.
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Modern Heart and Vascular, a preventive cardiology medical practice, has several offices around Houston. We have locations in Humble, Cleveland, The Woodlands, Katy, and Livingston.
We are Modern Heart and Vascular Institute, a diagnostic and preventative medicine cardiology practice.
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At the Modern Heart and Vascular Institute, we offer state-of-the-art cardiovascular care with innovative diagnostic tools and compassionate patient care. Our priority at Modern Heart and Vascular Institute is prevention. We help patients lead healthier lives by avoiding unnecessary procedures and surgeries.
This article does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you need cardiovascular care, please call us at 832-644-8930.
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